West Preston-Lakeside is treating its preparation for Saturday’s ANZ NFNL Women’s Division 2 second semi final like any other game.
The Roosters begin their finals campaign this week after enjoying a break in the opening week of the finals following a first-place finish on the ladder.
Last year’s runners-up won their opening 11 matches in 2018, before succumbing to a shock six-point loss to Montmorency in the final round of the home and away season.
West Preston-Lakeside coach Brett Pollard said his side is not thinking too far ahead in the lead up to Saturday’s clash against VU Western Spurs at Epping Recreation Reserve.
“We just want to win this week,” Pollard told NFNL.org.au.
“This is our biggest game for the year, so we are just focusing on the game on the weekend and if we win, then who knows what will happen in the grand final.
“Nothing really changes (in our preparation). We are pretty used to these weekends off due to the mid-season byes, but our main focus is just getting the win on the weekend.
“There is extra excitement heading into this week, but we will just keep going like every other week.”
Despite taking the premiership favourite tag into the finals series, Pollard says his side hasn’t been held down by the pressure of expectation
“We have the pressure of being hunted but it’s just another game for us,” he said.
“We know that other teams are going to come for us as we are playing so well.
“The girls are just taking it week by week and have become a tight group which has helped the cohesion.”
After falling short in last year’s Grand Final against the VU Western Spurs, Pollard says his side should need no added motivation heading into this weekend’s game.
“We felt it last year and the loss really inspired them and made them hungrier than ever and they want to make amends for last year,” he said.
“Especially after the last game where we lost the girls knew we were down and a little flat. We were lucky it happened then and hopefully doesn’t happen again in the next few weeks.”
Despite beating the Spurs twice during the home and away season, Pollard is wary of the reigning premiers and knows his side cannot go in too confident in the lead up to the second semi final.
“It’s going to take a full team effort and we will need to be switched on right from the start,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say I’m too confident as they beat us in last year’s grand final and we only got them by a point earlier this season.
“I’m expecting a close game and the confidence will be up after we did beat them twice this year, but they are a very good side and we can’t take them lightly.
“After last week, the girls will be keen to get back on the winners list so hopefully we are at our best.”